The next morning, Draco joined Narcissa at the breakfast table as usual. He looked perfectly normal, not a hair out of place, clothes neatly pressed and tucked as bespoke a true English wizard of the old blood. Dolly, their new house elf, quietly filled their plates and disappeared with a soft pop! , leaving mother and son alone.
“So.” Draco began, the opening gauntlet. “What happens now?”
She eyed him warily.
“Harry Potter hates me, and I hate him. You haven’t done a very good job on that vow of yours, by the way. The idiot has nearly gotten himself killed at least three times for every year he’s been at Hogwarts. And those were just during the Quidditch matches.”
She was bemused at the calm, accepting, matter of fact attitude, but not truly surprised. Within all the pureblood families was a blood geas of varying strength, to remain loyal to each other no matter what. As the Black and Potter families, and especially Draco and Harry, were so closely related, it ran stronger in their blood, especially now that at least one side had acknowledged the relation. The blood geas was meant to prevent patricide when heirs or siblings got greedy for their inheritance, but it worked for half siblings too. It also helped that the bracelet with the loyalty rune on it was gone, and with it the nullifying effect; though now with nothing to stem it, the blood geas was flowing stronger than ever, like a river that had just broke through a dam.
“I know that there is a schoolyard animosity between you and Harry. Part of that is your shared history working against you; you are much alike, in a lot of ways.” She replied, setting her tea cup down and accepting that this conversation needed to happen before either of them were to take another bite. “Part of that, Draco my darling, is you not being at all subtle or cunning, but that is Lucius’s influence. From what you have told me, it is petty resentments and teenage grudges that make up the majority of your feud, as well as the long standing dislike between Slytherin and Gryffindor House.”
“Yes.” He agreed grudgingly. “Although it is more Weasel and Granger that are always up in arms. Weasley had already gotten to Potter before we even entered Hogwarts the first time, spouting off his nonsense about evil Slytherin and goody two-shoes Gryffindor. Potter ate it up.”
“I suspect that there is much more Slytherin in Harry than anyone realizes.” Narcissa mused thoughtfully. “His mother Lily was certainly the most cunning and Slytherin like Gryffindor I’ve ever met in my life.” She smiled fondly, reminiscing. “Though I didn’t realize exactly quite how much she had successfully manipulated everyone until long after we were out of school. But then, she was a politician’s daughter, and a Muggle born. She was used to hiding in plain sight.”
Draco’s lip curled. “You say that as if you actually admired her.”
“I did. Lily Potter was one of the most powerful witches I have ever met, as well as one of the most courageous. Her parentage had absolutely nothing to do with that.” Narcissa said sharply. “But that brings us to the other half of this conversation. You are not your father, Draco. Not James, and not Lucius. You are a powerful, intelligent wizard with your own mind and path. So tell me true. Do you honestly believe in blood purity and that there are some people who are less because of who their parents are?”
He opened his mouth to reply that of course he believed in blood purity! He was of noble blood, that could be traced back to the great Morgana le Fey herself! Magic coursed through his veins, unlike those muggles, who would never know the thrill of casting a spell or shooting through the air on a broom. Didn’t that make them less because of it? Sure, some of them were lucky enough to mate with those of magic blood, and occasionally they had children that inherited the magic, but even they were less. Less powerful, less magical, less intell…Draco stopped. His mental reasoning and justification suddenly had a witch sized hole in it. A witch with bushy hair, named Hermione Granger.
Hermione was a Muggle born, a fellow student in his year at Hogwarts, and had been the bane of his existence since his first day at school. She was the brightest witch in their year, and usually the first to master whatever new spell, charm, or potion they were working on in class, often with no effort. Magic came effortlessly to her, theory and application, which shouldn’t have been possible if she didn’t already have the power to perform the spell work in the first place. But she was a Muggle born. Her parents had no magic whatsoever, so how had they produced such a powerful witch?
Narcissa read the thoughts on his face with ease, and smiled to herself. Time to land the final blow to Lucius’s teachings. “Lily was a Muggle born, and one of the most powerful and smartest witches I have ever met.” She repeated quietly. “She was also your godmother, come to that. Magic chooses us, just as our wands do. Parentage and blood is only a small fraction of the reasons why.” She curled her lip in disdain. “Besides, the Dark Lord is a half-blood.”
“What?!?!” Draco yelped.
“Tom Marvolo Riddle. Born to a witch and a muggle. Lucius bragged about it. Thought it amusing and ironic. Said he agreed enough with Riddle’s end goal to follow him until the time was right, and anyone with that much natural power and charisma would do great things. He later excused his allowing Riddle to brand him like a sheep by saying that he didn’t wish to get on Riddle’s bad side! Your precious Lucius, along with all of his pureblood noble witches and wizards, willingly grovelled at their lord’s feet, in the mud, and kissed his robes!” She said icily, her words having even more impact for her too calm tone. “And with every brand that he pressed into their flesh, Marking them as his, so they ended centuries of wizarding heritage and tradition and lineage.”
Her son collapsed in his chair, his face ashen grey. She continued on, merciless.
“The parents of your Housemates took the Mark after they were married and at least pregnant with their heirs. But you will notice that every single one of them who have bragged about serving Riddle have no siblings, either older or younger. Now consider the neutral families, those who chose their own path and will not follow Riddle or Dumbledore. Greengrass. Davies. The Patils. The Changs. The Li family. All families with multiple children, and, interestingly enough, all girl children. Magic herself is screaming into the abyss, my son, and no one is listening.” She stopped, breathing hard, and closed her eyes. “The point is, this whole conflict is a bundle of lies and contradictions, and neither side is favorable to us. But in every war…”
“…there’s always a third side.” Draco finished slowly.
“Exactly. Harry Potter is your half-brother, and our ace in the hole. We play this out right, and we will be heroes, not villains. But we need Harry, which means that you need to learn to play nice.” She warned.
He didn’t immediately reply, mulling over the abundance of information she had just thrown at him.
“Even with Weasel?” he protested finally. “Granger is useful, for a swotty know it all, but Ronald Weasley is a true waste of space and magic. He is lazy and arrogant and is riding the coattails of Potter and Granger through school and life. That whole family is unstable and an insult to the name of wizard.”
Narcissa sighed, but couldn’t help agreeing with him. “I really don’t know what Arthur was thinking , marrying that hypocritical shrew of a woman, although the timing of their marriage and the birth of their eldest son is a bit questionable…”
“So.” Draco quickly changed the subject. “It’s summer. How do we find Potter, or at least convince the old fool to give me sanctuary with him?”